Saturday, September 15, 2007

I am winner of the Freak Lottery

So you know how, when you are waiting for a plane, there is always that one really wierd/smelly/insane person in the crowd waiting for your flight that you hope to God you won't get seated next to?

I always get seated next to that person. Never fails.

So yesterday, I flew from Oslo to Brussels to Chicago and thence to Springfield. By the time I got to Chicago I have been awake for 22 hours straight, and had a very bad night of no sleep before I even left Norway, so of course I was running on coffee, a crappy meal at Chili's and some really bad gas.

The flight leaving Chicago to Springfield was late. (All my other flights had been bang on time and very smooth.) I (and everyone else) were sitting as far away from the strange man in the waiting area as possible. It was entertaining to see someone new come in, find a space near him (as there was PLENTY of space that we had all vacated at one time or another) then, after 15 minutes of the guy's mumblings and such, move away.

The guy: had a cleft lip that was badly fixed. Black teeth. A large plastic bottle in to which he spit tobacco constantly. (I wonder how come THAT was not confiscated at security? Talk about toxic chemicals!). Raggedy beard and hair. Truckers cap and matching t shirt. Kept mumbling and talking to complete strangers, like me. (Yes, I was one of the ones who moved as well.)

Finally it came time to board the EXTREMELY SMALL plane. Like, I could not stand up straight small. 30 people max small. I wedged myself into my seat (aisle, ALWAYS aisle) and congratulated my self on having an empty seat next to me.

Until, just was we were about to leave, Mr Freak Man from the waiting area came sloping onto the plane carrying a ragged pillow, a backpack that looked like a small animal had died in it and was still there, and his plastic bottle of spit/tobacco horror. And he sat next to me, in the window seat. Shit shit shit.

The guy sitting in front of me turned around smiled at me and said "You've won today's lottery". I looked at him mournfully and sighed, "I always do". Everyone for three rows busted out laughing.

Freak Man proceeded, for the whole hour and a half flight, to mumble almost incomprehensible things to me, nonfucking stop. I did catch something about his wife having left him after almost a year of marriage, which my thought was not "oh poor you" but more like "Wow, how on earth did you get someone to marry you?" Something about him being scared of flying, and how he likes to have the window down (I of course, being slightly claustrophobic in small spaces, was like "NO! Window UP window UP!!!! Must have light and space!" Something about his job, he was indeed a trucker (which makes me fear for my life now every time I ever see an 18 wheeler because if THAT is the kind of guy driving those behemoths, I mean, holy shit?) In between his ramblings, which I desperately tried to fend off with intense interest in my book, he spit into his jar of evil, and let me tell you, that did NOT smell good. I finally had to turn the air on high and sort of point it at him to blow the smell of bad breath tobacco and decay away from me. He then said he was cold and turned it off. Grrr....

Of course, with Freak Man on one side, I had Big Assed Nazi Flight Attendant man on the other side. This guy, who was WAY too big for the plane, was goingk to follow the rules und das ist alles JA WOHL MEIN HERR! He bumped up and down the aisle, opening windows, forcing up seats, making us keep our feet in place, physically checking seat belts, and rigidly observing the "seat belts on" signs. I swear, my left arm was rubbed raw by his ass cheeks sweeping past me every minute. I've never touched a guy's ass that much without actually having sex with him. I didn't enjoy it.

The woman sitting behind me got up to go to the toilet mid flight and he came flying back to her and asked her, loudly, if she was sick? She said, uh, no, nature called. He then dressed her down completely telling her to observe the seat belt sign at all times and to NOT DO THAT AGAIN. Of course, the whole time he was bent over and telling her what a naughty girl she was, his ass was resting on my shoulder. I mimed pinching it and the people across from me nearly busted a gut, because his ass was also resting on them.

The lady behind me was pretty annoyed that she got yelled at, and was going to lodge a complaint with the airline. I turned around and told her, "Yeah, he's kind of a jerk, but think of the story you've got to tell after this!" I swear, that is what got me through that flight, thinking about the blog post I could write. Blogging keeps me sane.

My parents met me at the airport, my luggage arrived in good time, all was well and then on the way home....we had a flat tire. At 10 pm at night, on a very dark country road. Of course. With my luck how could it be any different? Luckily, Dad is a dab hand (dab hand, God how old is that phrase? My grandmother used that phrase.) at all things "car", so it didn't take long to change the tire, once we found a place with light (some poor family's llooonngg driveway. We totally freaked them out by backing into it that late... the man of the house came out in his bathrobe, all "Can I help you?"). In order to change the tire, however, we had to unpack the ENTIRE trunk, my luggage, all Mom and Dad's Sam's purchases for the day, Mom telling us not to squash the cake and Dad cursing and cussing in his usual fashion. (Dad's modus operandi is to verbally bitchslap anything he is working on. A loudly voiced verbal stream of consciousness bitch session that freaks out anyone who doesn't know him, until they realize he is just trying to yell the thing he is working on into submission. Never works but makes him feel better. We all just tune it out now.)

Got the tire changed, got the car repacked, (left a bottle of Reisling for the folks whose driveway we used, hope they aren't recovering alcoholics) and got going again. I crashed out in the back seat using the pillow Mom had brought for me. I'd been awake for 27 hours now.

1/2 a mile from home a deer jumped out of a bush into the path of the car. Dad hit the brakes, avoided the deer and I went flying onto the floor of the back seat in a rude awakening.

The last half mile was uneventful.

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